Is your dog experiencing car (motion) sickness?  If your dog experiences car sickness, you’re not alone. Many dogs struggle with motion sickness, making car rides a less than pleasant experience for both them and their owners. But fear not! In this blog, we’ll provide you with practical tips and strategies to help your dog overcome car sickness and make traveling together a breeze. 

From simple techniques to natural remedies, we’ll explore various methods that can make a world of difference in ensuring your dog’s comfort and enjoyment during car rides. So, buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a journey to conquer car sickness and create stress-free adventures for you and your furry companion!

Understanding Car Sickness in Dogs

Car sickness in dogs refers to the condition where dogs experience discomfort, nausea, and sometimes vomiting while traveling in a car. It is similar to motion sickness that humans can experience, and it can make car rides stressful and unpleasant for both dogs and their owners.

One of the main causes of car sickness in dogs is motion sickness. The movement of the vehicle can disrupt the dog’s inner ear balance, leading to feelings of dizziness and nausea. Additionally, anxiety and stress can also contribute to car sickness in dogs. Some dogs may associate car rides with negative experiences, such as previous bouts of motion sickness or trips to the vet, leading to anxiety and uneasiness during future car rides. 

The following are some of the most common symptoms of dog car sickness:

  • Drooling 
  • Excessive panting
  • Restlessness
  • Whining 
  • Pacing 
  • Uneasiness
  • Nausea
  • Frequent yawning 
  • Excessive swallowing
  • Lip licking

Preventing Car Sickness in Dogs

 If your dog is having car sickness, there are several tips you can follow to help them ease it. Here is a quick guide on how to help a dog with car sickness:

  • Gradually acclimate your dog to riding a car. Start by taking your dog on short car rides and gradually increase the duration over time. This helps them become accustomed to the motion and reduces anxiety.
  • Secure your dog in a crate or use a dog-specific seat belt to keep them safe and secure during the journey. This helps provide stability and minimizes motion-induced discomfort. If you need more information about soft dog crates, this article will be a perfect resource for you.
  • Ensure the car is well-ventilated by cracking open windows or using the air conditioning. Fresh airflow can help reduce nausea and keep your dog comfortable.
  • Bring along familiar items like their favorite blanket or toy to provide a sense of comfort and security during the car ride.
  • Avoid feeding your dog a large meal right before a car ride. Offer a small, light meal a few hours before the trip to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Take frequent breaks during long car journeys to allow your dog to stretch their legs, drink water, and have bathroom breaks. This helps minimize restlessness and discomfort.
  • Associate car rides with positive experiences by offering treats, praise, and rewards before, during, and after the journey. This helps create positive associations and reduces anxiety.
  • Consider using natural calming remedies, such as aromatherapy or herbal supplements, under the guidance of your veterinarian. These can help promote relaxation during car rides.
  • Minimize stressful stimuli inside the car, such as loud music or sudden movements, as they can contribute to anxiety and motion sickness.
Litter of Puppies in pickup

Remedies for Car Sickness in Dogs

When it comes to natural remedies for dog car sickness, there are a few options you can consider. Here are two commonly used natural remedies:

  • Ginger. Ginger has anti-nausea properties and can help settle your dog’s stomach. You can give your dog a small amount of fresh ginger (grated or minced) or ginger capsules available at pet stores. Alternatively, ginger-infused treats or ginger-based supplements made specifically for dogs can also be effective.
  • Peppermint. Peppermint has soothing properties and can help alleviate nausea in dogs. You can use peppermint essential oil, but it’s important to dilute it properly before use. Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply a small amount to your dog’s collar or bedding. You can also find peppermint-infused products specifically designed for dogs.

It’s important to note that natural remedies may not work for every dog, and it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before trying any new remedies or supplements.

In addition to natural remedies, there are over-the-counter and prescription medications available that can prevent car sickness in dogs. These medications should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian, who can determine the appropriate dosage and duration. Some common medications include:

  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine): An over-the-counter medication that can help reduce motion sickness in dogs. It’s important to use the canine-specific formula and follow the recommended dosage.
  • Meclizine (Bonine): Another over-the-counter medication that can be used to alleviate motion sickness in dogs. Again, it’s crucial to use the canine-specific formulation and follow the recommended dosage.
  • Prescription Medications: In more severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medications like Cerenia (maropitant citrate) or other anti-nausea medications. These medications require a prescription and should only be used under veterinary supervision.

Remember, it’s important to discuss any medications or remedies with your veterinarian to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your dog’s specific needs. They can provide guidance, recommend the best options, and monitor your dog’s response to the chosen treatment.

Golden Retriever Looking Out Of Car Window

People Also Ask Questions (FAQs) about How to Help a Dog with Car Sickness

What causes car sickness in dogs?

Car sickness in dogs can be caused by motion, anxiety, and stress during car rides. It is important that you know the real cause of car sickness so you can provide the right remedy. 

How can I prevent my dog from getting car sick?

To prevent car sickness, gradually acclimate your dog to car rides, provide a comfortable and well-ventilated space, and consider using a crate or seat belt for safety. We hope that you can use the guide we’ve made in this article to help your dog be more comfortable riding a car.

Can medication help prevent car sickness in dogs?

Medication can help alleviate car sickness in dogs. Consult with a veterinarian for appropriate options.

How long does car sickness in dogs last?

The duration of car sickness in dogs can vary. It may last throughout the car ride or persist for longer periods.

Is it safe to give my dog over-the-counter medications for car sickness?

We don’t recommend giving over-the-counter medications to dogs without veterinary guidance as they may not be safe or suitable. Consult with a veterinarian for appropriate medications.


Car sickness in dogs can be a distressing experience for both the pet and the owner. We hope that you can use this guide to help making car journeys more enjoyable for everyone involved.

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